Tucked in between
Harrison Lake and the Fraser Canyon is the Nahatlatch Lake and River
system. The Nahatlatch River flows from a series of three lakes -
Nahatlatch, Hannah, and Frances - 12 miles (20 km) upstream from the
Nahatlatch Riverís confluence with the Fraser River.
on the Nahatlatch River
To reach the
Nahatlatch, turn west off Highway 1 at the main intersection in
Boston Bar and drive downhill to the river. A bridge links Boston
Bar with North Bend on the far shore. West Side Road leads 11 miles
(18 km) upriver from North Bend to the Nahatlatch River Bridge.
Short trails descend to the river on both sides of the bridge. If
you explore the south side of Nahatlatch below the bridge, youíll
find open spots for fishing and backwater pools for swimming. The
lakes themselves lie beside the narrow Nahatlatch Lakes Forest Road
that runs for 12.5 miles (20 km) west of the Nahatlatch River Bridge.
As the Nahatlatch
Forest Road climbs above the Nahatlatch Canyon, youíll see groups
of whitewater rafters tackling this very powerful river and its
tremendous series of rapids. A series of 10 Forest Service recreation
sites lies along this road, most having access to either the river
or the lakes. There is a car-top boat launch on each lake. Most
sites are suited to only one or two vehicles, so just keep driving
until you reach an empty spot.
Fraser, and Thompson Rivers are all justifiably well known for their
riverrafting experiences. Of the three, the Fraser and Thompson
are more prominent, though not necessarily more challenging than
the Nahatlatch. In fact, the Nahatlatch provides more excitement
in its varied run than either of the others. Both the Thompson and
the Nahatlatch flow into the Fraser within a short distance of each
The season begins
in May, once water levels become manageable. The later in summer
you try the Nahatlatch, the better your chances of being able to
run the narrow Nahatlatch Canyon, a Class IVĖV mind-altering experience.
Although itís entirely possible to run these rivers unaccompanied,
the majority of paddlers opt for the services of a certified guide,
at least for the first time.
the waters of the three lakes in the Nahatlatch system is about
as serene as you can get, with the sound of loons, the still surfaces
of the water, and the view of Mount Maston (7,548 feet/2317 m) in
the distance. Boat launches are located on the shores of each lake
at Forest Service recreation sites on the Nahatlatch Forest Road.
Itís possible to paddle between the three lakes in the course of
a morning or afternoon excursion.
Nearest Towns: Spences
Bridge, Lytton, Boston
Nahatlatch Lake, Hannah Lake, Frances Lake
Parks: Nahatlatch Provincial Park,
Mehatl Creek Provincial Park